The 2018 draft could deliver impact talent to the Oilers, but the first-round pick is also shaping up as a pretty valuable trade piece this summer.
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- New Lowetide: Which way you going, Brandon Davidson?
- Lowetide: Is Magnus Paajarvi worth a waiver claim?
- Pierre Lebrun: A chat with Peter Chiarelli
- Lowetide: Putting together optimal lines after the deadline
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers planning for summer.
- Lowetide: Central Scouting and where the Oilers shop for talent
BOB MCKENZIE’S LIST
This week saw Bob McKenzie release his mid-season draft rankings. This is the Cadillac list, the industry standard. I always like to post my list before Mr. McKenzie’s, just to see the gap between math and consensus. McKenzie’s number is the rank, my ranking follows.
- LD Rasmus Dahlin, Frolunda (SHL). No. 1
- R Andrei Svechnikov, Barrie Colts (OHL). No. 2
- L Filip Zadina, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). No. 3
- L Brady Tkachuk, Boston University (NCAA). No. 8
- RD Adam Boqvist, Brynas (SuperElite). No. 6
- LD Quinn Hughes, Michigan (NCAA). No. 10
- RD Evan Bouchard, London Knights (OHL). No. 21
- RD Noah Dobson, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). No. 19
- R Oliver Wahlstrom, U.S. National Development Program (USHL). No. 12
- LD Ty Smith, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). No. 5
- RD Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm (OHL). No. 9
- LC Barrett Hayton, SSM Greyhounds (OHL). No. 16
- RC Rasmus Kupari, Karpat (Sm-Liiga). No. 17
- RD Bode Wilde, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). No. 25
- LC Joe Veleno, Drummondville (QMJHL). No. 18
- L Joel Farabee, U.S. National Development Program (USHL). No. 11
- LC Ryan McLeod, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL). No. 15
- LD Jared McIssac, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). No. 31
- LC Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Assat (Sm-Liiga). No. 20
- L Isac Lundestrom, Lulea (SHL). No. 29
- L Grigori Denisenko, Yaroslavl (MHL). Not listed
- R Serron Noel, Oshawa (OHL). Not listed
- LC Jacob Olofsson, Timra (Allsvenskan). No. 4
- LD Mattias Samuelsson, U.S. National Development Team (USHL). Not listed.
- R Dominik Bokk, Vajxo Lakers (SuperElite). No. 24
- LC Jack McBain,Toronto Jr. Canadiens (OJHL). Not listed
- RD Jett Woo, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). No. 14
- LC Benoit-Oliver Groulx, HalifaxMooseheads (QMJHL). Not listed
- RC Akil Thomas, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL). No. 7
- R Martin Kaut, Pardubice (Czech). Not listed
- LD Alexander Alexeyev, Red Deer Rebels (WHL). Not listed
There’s plenty worth discussing here, including a break around No. 20 that indicates the hockey industry is coalescing around some players who are heavy on the ‘saw him good’ and light on ‘math says green lights!” Now, we’re early enough in the process for there to be major swings in rankings, but I will tell you a player like Jared McIsaac will probably land about No. 40 on my list. I think it means the NHL is going to settle on about 10 players as the ‘top tier’ and then it’s a jailbreak by about No. 20. We’ll see if things tighten up by spring.
- As far as I know, “Allsvenskan” isn’t Swedish for Money Puck but maybe it should be based on prospect performance. The second highest league in Sweden, the loop keeps producing real gems and represents the rare under-drafted league in the modern era.
- In the last several years, some prospects from that league have been shot out of a cannon after their draft. David Pastrnak, Jesper Bratt, Jonathan Dahlen and (last year) Elias Pettersson have all emerged by the tweener league to overshoot their draft numbers immediately.
- I’m all-in on the Allsvenskan now, I have Jacob Olofsson at No. 4 and Filip Hallander at No. 13. Mr. McKenzie has Olofosson at No. 23 and Hallander at No. 49. European kids often spike late due to those spring tournaments that come very late in the draft schedule. I’ll be tracking both men but will remain bullish on the Allsvenskan.
- Why do prospects do so well after the Allsvenskan? A guess would be these young men get more playing time than in the SHL while the quality of competition also remains high.
- I spoke to Simon Boisvert yesterday, he had a fascinating point about the puck-moving defenders who sit behind Rasmus Dahlin. Simon said he views all of Boqvist, Hughes, Merkley and Smith as being different shades of even and it may come down to team preference over clear cut superiority. Simon did say he likes Hughes the most but it’s an even race.
Kailer Yamamoto picked up an assist on Saturday and has been on fire recently. His splits are incredible.
- First 10 games: 1-8-9
- Last 10 games: 7-11-18
- Total: 20, 8-19-27
He spent a long time (November 10-December 1) struggling but has been much better recently. Yamamoto will get a good shot at making the big club in the fall, unless the Oilers experience a dramatic change in behavior.